Abuse in the Healthcare Sector

Abuse in the Healthcare Sector
Abuse in the Healthcare Sector
It is the duty of healthcare and social caregivers to ensure that all people who come into their
facilities are safeguarded. However, that is not always the case. As such, this topic was chosen so
that the study could be used to create an understanding of the different types of abuse and harm
that individuals may experience in the healthcare sector. It was also considered worth studying
because it enables learners to understand the fact that elderly people are the most subject to
abuse. It also shows ways through which the rights of older patients can be protected.
It is also critical to note that all individuals have the right to live lives that are free from
abuse even when they are sick. However, this is abused in most cases. Sometimes most elderly
people find themselves in abusive situations or neglect when they go seeking medical assistance.
As such, this topic was selected so that it could enlighten healthcare providers to identify ways to
which the elderly are abused in the healthcare sector. That could help in identifying ways of
addressing the issue and creating awareness on the abuse of elderly patients in healthcare
This topic was also selected so that it could help in the identification of factors that could
show signs and symptoms of abuse in adults receiving healthcare services. As such, the risk of
such abuse could thus be reduced. It also gives learners an opportunity to discuss procedures,
policies, and strategies that could be adopted by multiagency organizations in protecting
individuals and gaining invaluable knowledge on the regulations and legislations that have
already been put in place so that they could help in safeguarding the rights of elderly patients
from abuse.
One of the ways through which the issue of abuse towards adults is solved is by forming
partnerships between multi-agency organizations. As such, it is critical for learners to get an
understanding of how the method works and explore alternative solutions that can be adopted in
solving the problem. It is critical in the provision of healthcare services in the society so that
elderly people and other individuals are protected from abuse in their search for medical
services. It is also critical to understand how relationships that are supportive are established and
maintained in the healthcare sector.
Donors, planners, and health policymakers have increased their industry in establishing the cause
of abuse in the healthcare sector and ways that can be used to combat the situation. That is
because the rate of abuse in the healthcare sector has increased. Thus, there is a need to identify
the perpetrators and ways of ensuring that it is eliminated. As such, this essay presents an
analysis of abuse in the healthcare sector and ways through which it is practiced. It also makes
several recommendations for efforts that can be undertaken to ensure that the issue is solved.
One ctitical factor in the access and provision of healthcare services is the quality of services
offered. Access is defined by the availability, affordability, and acceptability of the services
provided. As such it is important for the healthcare providers to ensure that the facilities are
located in places that are accessible and that the services are of outstanding quality and
affordable to the patients (Hahn and Inhorn, 2009 page 5). However, sometimes the situation
becomes difficult for the patients. That is because there are incidents where they reach the
facilities and access the providers but still fail to get served or attended. That is attributed to the
existence of misunderstandings and lack of proper communication between the patients and the
healthcare providers.
In other cases, patients get served but sometimes the service is followed by various forms
of abuse. The case is no longer considered quality service when this happens. That provokes the
need for the establishment of ways of ensuring that the quality of services offered to patients is
high (Nichter, 2008, p. 95). Cases of abuse should also be addressed. As such it is critical for
healthcare facilities to ensure that there are proper interactions between patients and providers.
That assists in eliminating barriers to access and establishes interactions that minimize cases of
abuse in the sector.
Most developing and developed countries have described the interface between patients
and providers as one that is marginalizing, discriminatory, abusive, and one that mirrors various
forms of social stratification in the society. That is coupled with the lack of confidentiality and
privacy, communication breakdown between patients and providers, and lack of proper
communication on medical and health information such as side effects. That prompts a
paternalistic approach that makes the system of health care poor quality at times (Nichter, 2008,
p. 95). Sometimes some patients such as the elderly are abused through various ways such as
discrimination and neglect. That makes it critical to expose some of the services that need to be
improved in the healthcare sector to ensure that cases of abuse are eliminated.
The primary aim of this research was to highlight the issue of abuse in the healthcare sector.
Current researchers have shown that various forms of abuse in the sector go unreported. They
have also shown that these cases can be solved if particular ways are adopted. The researchers
have also documented their findings and reports in literature reviews. As such, this report aims at
using the available literature to discuss abuse in the healthcare industry. That is critical to
learners and practitioners in the industry because ways of eliminating abuse in the sector are also
presented. Abuse was identified as one of the crucial issues in the field. As such, it was
considered worth research. This report thus presents a highlight of the issue, with special
consideration of abuse of the elderly. Most of the researchers have proven that adults and elderly
people are the most prone to abuse in healthcare facilities. That is because of their advanced ages
that may limit their mobility. As such, most are neglected and may take a long time before they
get served. This essay establishes ways of dealing with such situations and ensuring that the
rights and needs of all patients are safeguarded and served fairly regardless of their age, race, or
Literature Review
There is a diverse range of literature in which the abuse of elderly patients has been highlighted.
The different researchers used different study methods to conduct the studies. Sources of
information that shows the prevalence of elderly abuse include agency reports, caregivers,
family, epidemiological studies, healthcare professionals, and reviews of medical records. They
range from sources dated back 1979 to others that are as current as 2008.
Eight of the major studies show that the estimated prevalence of abuse of elderly patients
in the healthcare sector is evident in several countries. The rates of the prevalence of abuse in the
healthcare sector are 2.6% in the United Kingdom, 3.2% in Boston, and 4% in Canada, among
other similar statistics (Cooper, Selwood and Livingston 2008, p. 155). These rates were results
of research studies that were carried out on patients who had attained a minimum age of 65
years. They shared their experience of the abuse that they had been subjected to in the care
Annual reports from various states have also been used to generate the estimates of the
prevalence rates. Such state reports are compiled and documented by protective service agencies
that provide the actual number of cases of abuse in the healthcare sector (Meyer et al. 2014, p.
374). In 1999, the American Protective Services recorded that 242,430 elders had reported abuse
in the healthcare sector in 47 of the states.
Another study that is critical to this report is that of a convenience sample in which the
researcher interviewed 228 professionals. In this case, 60% of them confessed that they had dealt
with cases that involved abuse in the healthcare. 8% of the cases had resulted in serious injuries
to the victims (Daly, Merchant and Jogerst 2011, p. 361). In another survey study carried out in
Western Australia, 253 in a sample size of 340 respondents in 1000 healthcare organizations
reported that they witnessed cases of abuse such as neglect of the elderly in the healthcare sector.
Others claimed that they had been victimized. That was an approximate prevalence rate of abuse
of 0.58%.
Several nurses and healthcare givers were also interviewed to establish their thoughts and
opinions on verbal and physical abuse in the sector, as well as neglect. 23 out of the 45
respondents confessed that they had witnessed a case of abuse in the sector. They argued that
verbal abuse was the most frequent and shared in healthcare facilities and organizations.
Similarly, nurses in Australia were also interviewed so as to determine the case of abuse in their
places of work in the previous month. 33 of the 598 respondents confessed that they had been
subjected to some form of abuse in the sector (Ferreira, Santos and Vieira 2015, p. 687). That
was an equivalent of 5.5% of the clients who had been considered for the survey.
An analysis of the available literature shows that it is sometimes difficult to estimate the
rates of prevalence of abuse among elderly patients. A random sample was conducted in which
577 respondents were included, 36% confessed that they had witnessed physical abuse in the
previous year (McLaughlin and Lavery, 2000, p. 67). 81% also claimed that they had witnessed
psychological abuse among workers and nurses. As such, it was realized that it was not only the
patients who were abused in the sector. Nurses also faced rare cases of abuse in their line of duty.
Another critical research study was carried out among 27 respondents who were selected
randomly. The survey was conducted in three nursing homes (Du Mont et al. 2015, n. p.). 93%
of the nurses claimed that they had either heard or witnessed patients arguing that they had faced
abuse in the form of neglect or physical mistreatment.
Another critical study on the abuse of adults in the healthcare sector was carried out by
Du Mont et al. (2015). The researchers had noted that there were no interventions that had been
set in place by hospitals to curb the issue in the healthcare sector. Some of the abuses that
motivated the researchers into this study were physical, psychological, social, and legal. As such,
they conducted a systematic literature review as the first step towards the development of an
intervention that addresses the abuse of the elderly in the healthcare sector.
The primary objective of conducting the research study was to extract and synthesize
recommendations that were applicable and actionable in a systematic manner that would enable
them to design a hospital-based intervention for elder abuse in the healthcare sector.
The researchers extracted recommendations and coded, collated, categorized them as
themes, and conducted a further review for their relevancy to a hospital-based intervention and
response to elder abuse in the healthcare sector (Du Mont et al. 2015, n. p.). Descriptive statistics
was used to summarize the characteristics of the responses.
The researcher obtained 68 unique responses on elder abuse. They were used to extract
649 recommendations. Additionally, 149 of the responses were declared relevant and then
classified into five themes. These included capacity and consent, initial contact, caregiver,
interview with an old adult, and care plan (Du Mont et al. 2015, n. p.). They evaluated only six
of the responses that they had received. That was identified as a suggestion of the existence of a
wide gap between development and the process of actual implementation of the
The researchers recommended that it would be necessary for future researchers to
conduct an evaluation of each of the recommendations collected so as to address the issue of lack
of evidence (Du Mont et al. 2015, n. p.). They should also ensure that all recommendations of the
study are included in the formulation and implementation of a hospital-based response that is
The available literature shows that abuse is common in the healthcare sector. Most of the
victims do not report the cases of abuse, making it difficult to estimate the prevalence rates of
abuse in the industry. The literature review presented also presents several forms of abuse that
are witnessed in the sector today. However, it fails to identify or even suggest ways through
which abuse can either be eliminated or reduced. As such, this essay fills that gap by making
several recommendations that can be used to curb abuse in the healthcare care sector.
Research Methods
The data and information that was used in the compilation of this report were extracted from
existing literature. The standard protocols for conducting standard literature reviews were
applied in compiling the reviews that were used in this study. The most common sources
considered credible were journals and reports that were compiled after the researchers completed
their studies. These sources were obtained from the Internet. They were stored as the primary
data in several databases. The key words used in the Internet search were ‘healthcare sector’ and
‘abuse’. The information obtained was then synthesized and used to compile this report.
Implementation and Recommendations
Several recommendations can be made to solve the problem of abuse in the healthcare. One such
is that staff should be screened thoroughly during employment. Having the right staff in the
workplace is critical. Vetting should also be done to establish the level of professionalism of the
workers before they are entrusted with the fate of patients in the healthcare sector.
Sector guidance is also necessary (Du Mont et al. 2015, n. p.). Workers and patients need
to be educated on the rights and freedoms of each of the parties. That minimizes cases of
disagreement between the two, minimizing the possibility of the occurrence of abuse in the
healthcare sector. The rights of the patients should be safeguarded.
Another critical recommendation that can be drawn from this study is that there is a need
for strategies that lead to the minimization of the possibility of abuse in the healthcare sector
(Ferreira, Santos and Vieira 2015, p. 690). Such strategies should guide the decision-making
process of the organizations and ensure that there are justice and fair treatment. The strategies
should also define the best procedures that can be adopted to ensure that individuals in the sector
are protected.
Various types of abuse are witnessed in the healthcare sector. Examples of such include neglect,
discrimination, and bullying, physical, and psychological harm. However, most of them go
unreported. Individual should adopt the culture of reporting these cases so that measures can be
taken to prevent future happenings. These types of abuse result in various effects. Effects of
abuse include emotional breakdown, low self-esteem, compliant behaviors, and social
withdrawal. As such, modern ways of eliminating abuse in the healthcare sector should be
The report was compiled successfully. Existing literature was analyzed, and critical information
on abuse in the healthcare sector extracted. The information was then used to make
recommendations on the some of the ways that can be used to curb abuse. As such, this research
was educative and successful. It is evident from the literature review that the healthcare sector
lacks an intervention to address cases of elderly abuse. As such, the recommendations of the
research studies should be evaluated and used to develop a response that is comprehensive to
solve this issue.
Reference List
Cooper, C., Selwood, A. and Livingston, G. (2008). The prevalence of elder abuse and neglect: a
systematic review. Age and Ageing, 37(2), pp.151-160.
Daly, J., Merchant, M. and Jogerst, G. (2011). Elder Abuse Research: A Systematic Review.
Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 23(4), pp.348-365.
Du Mont, J., Macdonald, S., Kosa, D., Elliot, S., Spencer, C. and Yaffe, M. (2015). Development
of a Comprehensive Hospital-Based Elder Abuse Intervention: An Initial Systematic
Scoping Review. PLOS ONE, 10(5), p.e0125105.
Ferreira, M., Santos, C. and Vieira, D. (2015). Detection and Intervention Strategies by Primary
Health Care Professionals in Suspected Elder Abuse. Acta Med Port, 28(6), p.687.
Hahn, R. and Inhorn, M. (2009). Anthropology and public health. Oxford: Oxford University
McLaughlin, J. and Lavery, H. (2000). Awareness of Elder Abuse Among Community Health
and Social Care Staff in Northern Ireland: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Elder Abuse &
Neglect, 11(3), pp.53-72.
Meyer, R., Patel, A., Rattana, S., Quock, T. and Mody, S. (2014). Prescription Opioid Abuse: A
Literature Review of the Clinical and Economic Burden in the United States. Population
Health Management, 17(6), pp.372-387.
Nichter, M. (2008). Global health. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Schmeidel, A., Daly, J., Rosenbaum, M., Schmuch, G. and Jogerst, G. (2012). Health Care
Professionals' Perspectives on Barriers to Elder Abuse Detection and Reporting in Primary
Care Settings. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 24(1), pp.17-36.

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